Price paid: $ 1950
Purchased from: Carvin
Sound — 9
My playing lives somewhere between Jack Johnson and Hendrix. The CT6 has no problem covering the whole range of styles and sounds. It does have that "swiss army knife" of guitars kind of thing going on. It sounds great, definitely pro gear. The sound of the electronics is on the bright side. The tone control has a very broad range, you don't have to turn it all the way up to get a good bright sound, or all the way down to get a good thick sound. Anyways, I've done pretty much everything I can think of with it. The sound on this guitar goes where you want it to. From Eric Johnson, to Hendrix, to AC/DC... no problem. I play through a Carvin V3 amplifier, and I used compression, delay, and hall reverb a lot. So a pretty simple effects chain. Just a good rich, broad sound is what I go for.
Overall Impression — 9
I've been playing for about 5 years, I've had this guitar for about two and a half years now, and it's really the only guitar I need. I have a VG Strat. If it were lost or stolen, there's a good chance I'd get a new one, but I'd seriously consider a Music Man too. I didn't really get to compare it to anything. A friend told me they were better than PRS guitars, half the price, and custom at that, so I gave it a shot. I love the action and the finish on this guitar most of all. And it stays in tune... always. Between the way they make the necks and the locking tuners, even after a lot of heavy playing or if you take it out of the case after a week, it's still just about dead on. The only thing I wish it had is the Fishman Acoustic bridge. That would really complete the "swiss army knife" idea.
Reliability & Durability — 9
Definitely a guitar you'll have for life. Very thorough craftsmanship. It would definitely withstand live playing, and I don't think that finish is going anywhere. On a gig, I would have no problem using this guitar without a backup. Every part of it is well thought out, and it just doesn't foul up. It's solid all over.
Action, Fit & Finish — 10
Carvin is known for making guitars with good action. They guarantee 1/16" or less everywhere on the neck, and they aren't kidding. The custom shop only turns out about 1000 guitars a year and each one takes quite a bit of time to make (mine took 10 weeks). The finish is gorgeous, the inlays rock. It meets my imagination for what I wanted it to be.
Features — 10
My CT6 was made in California at Carvin's custom shop in early 2008. The concept was to give it a beach theme. The fretboard is ebony with abalone block inlays. The neck and body are primarily made of mahogany. The back of the neck has a tung oil finish. The face and headstock of the guitar is quilted maple stained blue with a black burst. The CT6 is essentially Carvin's version of a PRS McCarty Custom 22. The bridge is a tune-o-matic. All the hardward is gold-plated. It has passive electronics, with a 3-way selector and a coil-splitter in the tone knob for two humbuckers. One volume, one tone knob. Humbuckers are still the factory pickups which have a bright, almost thin sound to them. Considering changing to Seymour Duncans. (How could this not be a 10 to me? I designed it.) There are Sperzel locking tuners on the head stock, and strap locks on the body.